Select the best Doors and Windows for your home
Robby: How many attendees do you generally get to a presentation like this?
Rob: Yeah, it varies. Probably, you know, I would expect today we'd have somewhere around, let's see, right now we've got, we just had five people join right now. Maybe we'll have like 20 or so. The majority of these folks, Robby are clients of ours who are either currently in the architectural planning design phase, or some of them are even in the early building permit phase. And yeah, our objective during these webinars is just to make it so that they can make the most informed and educated decision as possible when going and selecting certain finish materials.
Rob: The joy of building a new home, right? It's kind of like t's a quick crash Course for all these homeowners on all things building related.
Robby: Well, it's a challenge for sure but it's a rewarding experience. And long as you're prepared to make four to 15 decisions every single day, usually things move forward pretty quickly.
Rob: Yeah, yeah. No doubt. No doubt. Keep your check book open and your Pinterest open as well.
Rob: We'll give everybody just maybe a few more minutes to join here as people trickle in and we'll get going.
Robby: And trust the people that are trying to help you.
Rob: Yep. Yeah. No doubt.
Robby: The other thing we're always challenged with.
Rob: Yeah, no doubt there. All right. I'll probably just give everybody one more minute here as maybe folks are grabbing lunch or whatever else during this lunch hour then we'll kick it off.
Robby: Alrighty. Ready when you're.
Rob: All right. Well, thank you everyone for joining today. Yeah, we're lucky to be talking about maybe a bit more of an exciting topic than last week for some, which was the roofing and waterproofing side of things. What we have upfront is something a little bit more exciting, hopefully, which will be our windows and patio doors. And we're lucky to be joined by Golden State. And I'll let them introduce themselves here in a second. Before we get started, just kind of the brief intro for everybody who's joining us today. We're going to be giving just kind of a brief introduction on Livio, what we do, and then giving Golden State an opportunity to talk a little bit about multitude of services and offerings that they have for clients and then jump into giving a 1,000-foot level on as much information as we can get through anyway on windows and patio doors. It's a big topic to try to cover in maybe just an hour or so and there's a lot of different options out there. And it's also one of the bigger probably financial related decisions that you'll probably make during your home building process. So, it's an it's an important one to make and a lot of decisions and factors that go into it.
Without further ado, we'll touch base first just on a little bit about us. I think for the most part everybody probably knows who we are on this call. But we're a general contractor in the San Francisco Bay Area. I mean, our success is a direct reflection on some of the great subcontractors and vendors who we partner with including Golden State, who we're lucky to partner with on these projects. Ultimately, we focus on building beautiful single-family homes and custom homes throughout the Bay Area. That's what we specialize in and that's what we do. And we do it in a unique technology driven way where we actually have a vertically integrated team that handles everything from engineering, to architecture, to assisting and consulting with folks like Golden State on the procurement side of things to make sure that your project runs as smoothly as possible and utilizing the best in class technology to make it happen along the way.
Leadership team, obviously, my name is Rob Dowling by the way for any of those folks who haven't met me in person. And then Navneet who is actually travelling right now and unable to join. And then we have a couple other folks on the team as well who probably a few of you have interacted with. And yeah, it wouldn't happen without the large team that we have globally helping us out throughout the way to make sure that every project is a success. With that said, I'll hand it off to Nathan and Robby to introduce themselves.
Robby: Hi everybody. I'm Robby Myer. I'm the architectural consultant for Golden State for Jersey Architects Concierge. My position at Golden State is basically to consult with the architectural community and to help them to specify products for homes under construction. I primarily live in the luxury residential space because those are the projects that are more or less architecturally driven. And it is a really fun job for me to have because I get to spend a lot of time creating really magnificent homes for people to enjoy and to raise their families. And it's really fun to be a part of that process and to help people to realize their dreams in homeownership. So, it's been a lot of fun for me over the last 30 years of my career to be a part of this and to help so many families get into homes that they love. So, I look forward to your questions and being a part of this conversation today.
Nathan: Hello everybody. My name is Nathan Ornellas and I am a window and door salesperson for Golden State. I've done numerous projects with Aron Builders who are now Livio. We sell numerous brands. I love helping people from decision making to seeing the final product. I'm here to guide you guys and inform you on every aspect as far as the doors and the windows for your projects.
Rob: Nathan is the one getting back to you guys within 30 seconds when you ask a question. So, thanks Nathan for your continued effort there in making things happen for all of the clients who you've had an opportunity to interact with, as far we've heard nothing but phenomenal things about their experience so far with Golden State, so definitely look forward to that. Anyways, there's a lot to cover within Golden State. But if you guys want to maybe just talk quickly about everything you guys do and your history.
Robby: The slide shows here we're a provider of all building materials to Northern California contractors and professional builders and homeowners. We work with basically anybody that is building. We have six full-service lumber yards on all corners of the bay. So, we are able to provide next day and sometimes same day service to these projects and our customers. We also have seven fully staffed window and door design centers where you can view full size window and door units in place, fully trimmed out and operational. They're all fully staffed with our professional sales team, including Nathan in our Berkeley location. It's just a lot of resources around a very large area of the Bay Area in order to provide services to our customers.
We also have a centrally located window distribution center in Richmond, which we utilize to process and facilitate the literally tens of thousands of products that come through our operation on a daily basis. We're a third-generation family-owned business started in 1954. The company is still run by the same family and they do a fantastic job and provide us with an excellent work environment. We have career lifelong professional sales associates in all categories. So, whether you're needing support for framing materials, siding, materials, doors and windows, we've got professionals that have literally built careers in providing and building relationships with builders on these materials. We also have long standing relationships with our vendors which gives us extremely high value buying power. Because we have so many locations we buy in bulk. Because we have so many sales people, we sell a lot of material and what that means for you is that you get the best pricing available on the marketplace because we have tremendous buying power.
Rob: Awesome. That was an awesome overview. I think you've touched on some of this but if there's anything that I missed in here, feel free to elaborate.
Robby: No. You've pretty much got it all right here. We do supply pretty much everything to build a home from the foundation all the way up to the finishes. We are provided with all framing materials, all siding materials, all doors and windows, interior finish trims and all those things. What we don't do is roofing and plumbing and things of that nature.
Nathan: Just to throw it out there, we also do door hardware, pocket frames, pocket hardware, all that stuff as well. We literally are pretty much one stop shop.
Rob: Awesome. Makes it easy for us as builders as well which is always nice. And yeah, I can be a testament to this last slide but certainly, you know it's all about relationship building and certainly enjoyed working with you guys this far and look forward to continue to. To jump into the first slide, and this is probably a lot of information. Some of it may not be relevant to a homebuyer, I'm sorry, to people who are building a custom home. But at a very high-level overview, Robby, Nathan, what are some of the decisions or factors that go into making a decision on a window? Maybe we can start there and then we'll dive into some of the other particulars about Window selections.
Robby: There's three primary drivers in your door and window selections. That's architectural design intent, the style of the home, the performance of the window properties and the Title 24 requirements that have to be met, and of course budget.
Rob: Yeah. Yep. No doubt. When it comes to making selections on windows, besides just, let's say, those three performance criteria, when it comes to, let's say, hardware and even something as small as, let's say, screens and sashes and things like that, for somebody who's says, oh, man, there's so many components to a window, how do you guys make it easy for people who are going to your stores and making these selections? Can you help guide them on items like these or what do you suggest?
Nathan: I think I'll jump in on this one.
Robby: 100%, Go ahead, Nathan. Have it. Basically, when we're going over a window, in the beginning, we're going to go over pretty much the main things at the showroom when we show you the product. It's going to be one, the exterior colour, two, which is going to be on the next slide is going to be the material on the inside, and then three, of course, the hardware. Four actually also is the screen. There’s someone on here for one of the projects that we're working on right now. They want the wood on the interior and they're going to pre stain it. So, we have to match the screen to the window on the inside. And another project that I'm doing with you guys is we're actually doing push out windows, so we have to have a hinge screen. So, there's so many different aspects to a window that it's going to come down to more. Once we find the design, we could show you all the different details because we have all these options in our showrooms to show.
Rob: Awesome. And then when it comes down to at a high level, and we're going to talk a little bit more about patio doors. But I guess it's a lot of the same, where there's a lot of different design considerations even architecturally probably when coming down to making a decision on hardware and all the different options that might be there within a single door series. So, any tips, tricks when it comes to components and kind of the anatomy of a door in general?
Robby: Nathan, you want to take this one?
Nathan: It's kind of an open-ended question because there are so many different types of doors on the project. But for like a swing door, there are so many moving parts. Like on this picture alone, we're going to be looking at, it looks like it's going to be a pair of doors. So, are we going to do a flush fold and [inaudible 00:13:47.08]? Are we going to do a ball catch? The sill which is going to be one of the most important options because a lot of people nowadays don't want to stub their toe, so we need to go, if we're going to go with a handicap sill or it's going to be about an inch and a half rise. The hinge colour, of course, is going to be one of probably the first decisions that we're going to make for a door. And then as far as the hardware for the handle sets, which is on the bottom corner, we could do more of this. We could do tubular. Now, for pocket doors, there's long rectangular, so all those. As you can see by the image, there's 1,000 options that we're going to have to discuss with everything to make sure that the client is happy at the end of the day with the finished product.
Rob: Within kind of the different components that go in, do most, I guess, generally speaking, can you have the most brands kind of from a component standpoint offer the same sort of architectural aesthetic variety, Robby? For example, on a standard door, are there different options for hardware that maybe one is more traditional, one is more modern? And is that pretty much consistent across brands or...? Can you kind of shed some light on that?
Robby: Well, when you start with the entry level brands, of course, you're going to get your entry level hardware selections. And as you move up through the rankings of the brands, there's different classifications of doors and windows. And with those different classifications, you're going to get expanded options and colors and selections. And in many cases also, aftermarket hardware that's more boutique and more luxury. As you climb up the chain of the tiers of manufacturers that we represent, you're going to find more and more options available to you. So, depending on the level of construction that you're doing, depending on the budget, all of those are going to be factors that are going to come in to the amount of selections that are offered to you and the options that will be available.
Rob: Got it.
Robby: Does that answer your question?
Rob: Yeah. It does. And it's the right segue into actually the next topic, which is brands. You know, probably some customers come to you and they already have kind of an idea of what brand they may be want from driving around or going on Pinterest or whatever it might be. I guess, in the general direction and this is a huge topic in and of itself. But where do you start with a client when they come to you and they're saying, "Hey, Robby, Nathan, what brand do I go with? Where do I start here?"
Robby: Well, I'm generally looking at the architectural intent, right? A lot of times I'm working with the architects at the very front end of the project and we kind of are determining kind of a base budget where we're going to be fitting in price wise. And then that's going to limit our selections or expand our selections. But generally, we're starting with kind of the architectural intent/ the budget because those are the two things that are always the things that are working against each other. We can only design this much because we can only spend this much. My job is to help them kind of figure that out. What I'm fortunate with is that we actually represent brands in all categories. So that gives us great flexibility in order to fit the design and budget constraints that we're working with.
Nathan: For me, just to throw this out there too is, I'm going to get the plans once Robby and the architect has already designed it. And normally by looking at the exterior elevations, I'm going to take a look at the plan and I can give my best advice of what I think would fit the home and what would look best with the home. So, like if you did the vinyl window, it's going to have a different look on the exterior and a different look on the interior than if you did a wood window. On the inside, the wood's going to obviously add a different warmth to the home. So, I'm going to look at the whole plans, I'm going to talk with the client and see where they are leaning and what kind of look they're going for. And then that's when I can throw out my best recommendations to show them what we offer. And again, like Robby said, we literally carry pretty much every single window brand in pretty much every single type of category.
Robby: Another thing I'd like to add on that is that there's always concerns on any construction project with, you know, you're making compromises by means of budget and design aesthetics. So, one of the great things that we offer is our showrooms, where you can actually look at the product in person right in front of you and be working with one of our great sales persons like Nathan, and they can generally show you the different benefits and features of every line and kind of walk you through all of those different options because it can get overwhelming. There is absolutely a broad spectrum of products out there and hundreds of manufacturers. We're fortunate to represent some of the best in the industry and we've got great people to show you all the different options.
Rob: And Robby, for those maybe clients of ours who have gone through the design process with probably varying levels of experience to architects who may or may not know all the ins and outs of windows and are already kind of at a stage where maybe the ship sailed without getting you involved early, and maybe this is a question for Nathan as well. But how often do you guys see that there are changes that are required to maybe an architecture’s drawing set to ultimately what needs to get ordered as a result of maybe some of the items you mentioned Robby, which would be architectural style or maybe its budget. But how often do you see if there isn't that early involvement that something needs to change post design?
Robby: It is not unusual for things to change. Generally, the architect is going to specify a type of a window in most cases and oftentimes even the brand because some architects and even builders have brands that they're familiar with that they've used successfully and they built trust with the manufacturer and the organization. So, a lot of times your windows specification has already been worked out in the design process. In other cases where there's a little bit more flexibility or we're doing some value engineering where we're trying to build the house that's on paper for a lesser budget than what came in from the builder, oftentimes we'll make substitutions in the window package because quite frankly, that's one of the larger high ticket dollar items in a home build, so sometimes that does get value engineered. And we can step it down into a different category or oftentimes as well, the customer has something in mind that they absolutely want. They've had windows in a previous home that they had a good experience with that gave them great confidence and they oftentimes are demanding to use that product line as well. So, it really depends on the client. We are here to take care of the client's needs. What the client is looking for is obviously what we are looking to provide. I can't recommend our professional salespeople enough when it comes to trying to work out those details.
Rob: When it comes to when to start during the design process, looking at things like brands of windows, and hey, here's roughly the standard sizes that this particular brand offers, when you recommend some of our clients to kind of start that design process and start turning their wheels on it? Is it when they're... where do you typically...?
Robby: Right now.
Nathan: Very, very soon.
Robby: Right now. It really depends on the project. The scale of the project is going to have a lot to dictate with the timeline. But in today's marketplace where we're seeing vendors having material shortages and raw material shortages that are pushing out timelines, you can't get into the order queue soon enough, all of these manufacturers that are in front of you right here have a lead time that starts at six weeks and like Fleetwood could be 20 weeks. You literally have to be really forecasting on your timeline. Let's take a single-family home in the greater South Bay. It's 4500 square feet. You should really have your windows already figured out by the time you're going for a building permit. And once you have that building permit, you're about to break ground, you really should have that window package ordered because framing happens relatively fast. And nothing slows down a project like material that can't arrive in time for its installation.
Rob: Got it.
Nathan: I want to say something on that. The earlier the better is probably the best way to say it. My reason is, if you come in there thinking that you have a Milgard budget and I send you a price and then you see that you have a little bit more wiggle room in your budget for windows or doors and you want to see a wood interior window. Well, now those rough opening is completely changed. I need to discuss that with the contractor to make sure that they adequately put their hole downs in the right position. That they're framing for a vinyl window when the wood framing is completely different. So, the sooner the better. It's just going to move the projects so much more smoothly.
Rob: Got it. And the brands that we're looking at here, I think probably most of the customers probably have some familiarity with these big brands. But when it comes to whether it's warranty or serviceability, can you speak just at a high level about some of the differences and considerations to make when choosing brands? Any comment on that, Nathan? Any consideration? Or Robby.
Robby: Go Nathan.
Nathan: So, as far as warranties, every manufacturer on the screen right now has a fantastic warranty and I have not had in my career issues with service. Because that's where I feel comfortable selling a product. It's not what they do in the front end but what they do in the backend when there is a problem with the window. How soon are they going to get somebody out there to fix it? Because if a window won't close, well, that's not a safety issue. For me, getting somebody out there to service the window after point of sale is huge. And every single person, not person. Every single company on this screen is fantastic. Milgard with their lifetime warranty for a vinyl window, very hard to beat. Having a lifetime warranty on the window, it's a huge benefit because stuff does happen. Fleetwood, their warranty is a lifetime warranty for an aluminum window as well and they do a transfer. You can't beat that. Marvin's warranty is one of the best warranties for an aluminum clad window. And again, Marvin's after sale service is just absolutely phenomenal there. If I sit there and I tell them, "Hey look, this door won't close and this is a service issue. We need to have somebody out there." They're going to send somebody out there a whole lot faster and get it fixed so that you feel safe with the product that you bought.
Rob: That's great. Well, you guys are certainly lucky to represent some great brands and there's endless options probably even within each brand. But diving in a little bit more to I think some of the items that Nathan you were talking about in terms of the different materials that are out there. And I put together a very elementary sort of checkbox sort of comparison to try to keep it at a high level for everybody. But it'd be great if, first of all, poke holes in my chart here and let me know if there's anything that you don't agree with or maybe nuances within that. But it'd be great if you guys could speak a little bit to when it comes to the material side of things. And I think a lot of this comes down to architecture, Robby like you mentioned. But how is that decision process made?
Robby: Well, again, it starts with design and then it immediately goes to cost. This is actually a great little checklist you got going here. It does answer a lot of questions. Different materials in the marketplace, obviously vinyl is going to be your least expensive option. It's also the option that's going to give you the least amount of customization. There are features and benefits towards vinyl. It is a reliable product. It is inexpensive and it does have the same insulated glass and oftentimes as good insulating properties as its more expensive counterparts. But it is the entry level and it's what you're going to find in most production homes. It's kind of limited in its flavors and colors and availability of different more exclusive hardware. And they also don't do some of the vast expanses of glass that we are seeing trending in today's modern architecture.
The next level up from that would be fiberglass or composites. Every manufacturer has a line that is a composite type of a window product which includes fiberglass. Fiberglass is one of my favorite products for a wood window type window. It is a very durable and very proven material for use on the exterior windows. We've used it in the marketplace for 25 years without problems so it's very saturated in its use. It is also very beneficial in that it expands and contracts at the same rate of glass. You've got a lot of performance characteristics with fiberglass that are very beneficial. Marvin Modern is a full fiberglass product that is showing us tremendous performance numbers. So, we're really liking fiberglass. It is one of the materials in the future and there are wood windows available that have a fiberglass exterior and a wood interior which we really like.
The next category up as far as price would be would be what we're calling the wood category here. And generally, that is a wood clad which has aluminum cladding on the outside which provides the resilience and the really good defense against the elements which, you know, water and sun are the two primary factors that we're trying to defend against. It also gives us an opportunity to have really, really wide selection of colour availability on the exterior to meet any architectural design intent and colour pattern. And then you get the interior wood finish, which gives you the warmth and the comfort of wood. And it's a proven material and combination of materials to build windows out of that provide great performance and longevity.
The next category, which is the most popular category in modern type construction today is aluminum. We're seeing a lot of aluminum products coming into the category, very sleek, very elegant, and very minimalist frame type products, very conductive to the vast expanses of glass that I mentioned earlier that seems to be a real driver in today's architectural designs as bigger windows and narrower frames around them. And that's where aluminum kind of fits into that category. We primarily do that mostly only in the luxury builds. But we are seeing manufacturers that are bringing out more economical versions that are finding ways into your more common residential construction.
Rob: I know I didn't check the box here for aluminum and it's probably an ever-changing market and sounds like technology's got way, way better. But are you able to sell aluminum windows right now that are meeting California Title 24 and is it a challenge?
Robby: Oh, absolutely.
Rob: Okay, awesome.
Robby: Well, the challenge more is in that the architects of today are designing houses that are more glass, less wall, right. So, the Title 24 performance characteristics, you know, that's a performance calculation based on the entire structure. When you put more glass in the structure, you're obviously compromising more of the wall insulated values and as such, the windows have to perform even more magnificently. So, yes, the aluminum manufacturers are certainly meeting Title 24. Most of these products are now thermally broken which means the exterior extrusions are isolated from the interior extrusions with a thermal component between which keeps the thermal temperature on the outside from transmitting into the inside, which long story short on, you know, like 1,000-foot level like you said, ramps up energy performance and makes these products fit into Title 24 calcs.
Rob: Great. Great.
Nathan: And to touch on that real quick is, aluminum is getting packed a lot more and more and it is, has been, and was a little bit more difficult to meet Title 24. But exactly what Robby said is, we would then not go as prescriptive, which is what would be on the sticker. We are going to go performance. So, we might have to add a little bit more insulation in the house, you take into account the LED light bulbs, all that stuff that's going to go into the whole build and energy value of the home. And that's what allows us to make every number meet, especially when we go towards like a Fleetwood style window.
Rob: Great. And when considering that same materials that I'm looking at here on the windows side of... I mean, this slide was prepared primarily for Windows but are the same sort of material options available in a patio door as well?
Nathan: Yeah, the only one that is not going to be is the all-fiberglass door. If it's a swing door, it's got to have wood on the inside if it's going to be fiberglass unless it's a door that... this is kind of going to be on the whole another slide, probably. It's something that we would hang on our door shop or we would put it in a wood jamb. But like Marvin all fiberglass door, you can only get it in the sliding door. You will not be able to get in the swinging door. Same with a vinyl. But all the other ones, yes, you can get them in a swing door, sliding door, bifold, multi-slide all those other aspects.
Rob: In fiberglass and all the options that are out there, I know like on the composite materials on siding for example, some of the fiberglass material these days is getting really pricey just because of how great it looks frankly, and I think a lot of the technology has just gotten a lot better. Are you guys seeing that same sort of, I guess, price variation in fiberglass now that that technology is getting better and better and mimicking that of maybe a higher-grade material?
Robby: Nathan, you're a salesman?
Nathan: Yeah, I am. There's always a low-end fiberglass, which is going to be not necessarily a fiberglass but it's going to be a composite that some sales people might call it a "fiberglass" but really, it's vinyl, wood, fiberglass all mixed together. And then there's your higher end fiberglass like a Marvin window. And those ones, yeah, are getting pricier. But it's also because it's become the popular window. You know, they're adding more bells and whistles to it than what it had maybe 10 or 15 years ago. The build of it and the construction and the strength of it now is much better. As far as doors and windows, what I noticed is when something becomes very popular, the price tag can tend to go up a little bit.
Rob: Sure. Makes sense. When it comes to operation style of windows, I think a lot of this comes down to... this is primarily a decision that's made early on in the process, right? Whether it's to meet egress requirements or whether it's to... and primarily I think the architect is one of the main drivers for this one. But when looking at the different options that are out there, what are some of the considerations to make for an end consumer?
Nathan: I'll jump on this one first, Robby. So really, the top row is... this is kind of very well. The top row is going to be more of your traditional type of window. A double hung, a slider, and an invent slider are more of your traditional window. It's going to have a much thicker frame and less glass. Hoppers, casement, double casements, fringe casements, awnings, they're your more contemporary style window to where they're going to have a much smaller frame, more glass. If you were to put a casement next to a double hung in a home, the sidelights aren't going to align. It's going to be [inaudible 00:34:16]. Again, it's going to come back to where one, the architect is pretty much going to call it out 90% of the time. But if they expect all double hung and I hear from the client that they're going to want a more architectural or more contemporary look, then I'm going to show them the option of a casement or a hopper.
Rob: Got it. Okay. If you don't mind maybe single hung, double hung windows are maybe two of the more popular ones and I guess sliders. But can you just explain? I don't know how many folks are familiar with the operational style. What do these arrows represent in each one of I guess, these and what would be the difference between, let's say a double hung and a single hung?
Nathan: A double hung is going to be both sashes move, bottom sash, top sash. So, you can kind of dictate the airflow in your home. If you've got the fan on and you want higher air, you're going to open crack the top sash and you're going to let air come in from the top. It is a little bit harder than the egress with a double hung because the top sash does come down into the opening versus a single hung to where the top sash is completely fixed and the bottom sash is the only one that opens. Casement is going to have something to where you crank it out and it's going to kind of open up like a door. Awning is pretty much the same thing as a casement, just turn it sideways and then it flips out from the bottom. It's something that you're going to use a lot of times in the shower or in the bathroom. Let's see, hoppers are going to be more towards an aluminum on aluminum clad window that open the opposite of an awning and kind of crack into the awn instead of flipping out from the bottom. Sliders most of the times they are an XO but certain manufacturers do make them as an XX to where both of the panes move. But majority of the time one of the panes is going to be fixed and one of the panes is going to be the operable thing.
Rob: Got it. You mentioned for the contemporary homes that seems to be a more popular option. When it comes to frame styles, I think you mentioned casement. Is that right kind of as one option?
Rob: In sliding windows, are those also more narrow and profile than let's say a single hung or a double hung?
Nathan: They sliders are going to be more in the single hung and double hung thing. And again, I know that certain manufacturers have the... I think there's only maybe one or two that have the same frames. But 80% of the windows sliders, double hungs are traditional casement, awnings are modern. The other thing is if the whole house is double hungs and we want to keep that traditional look but we need egress, then we could turn the casement to look like a double hung from the outside. We could raise the bottom rail [inaudible 00:37:02] across, so from across the street it looks like you do have double hungs all throughout the home. But the casement is used to satisfy the egress requirement for that room.
Rob: Got it. Okay. This slide should be pretty quick. But when it comes to operation style of patio doors, some of the pictures that I see here, Robby, Nathan, if you could just kind of explain maybe some of the differences here. Also, if you can kind of talk about actually how the patio door selection is made in conjunction with the windows and do you ever find that actually it's maybe different brands altogether, maybe it's different series within the same brand for making those different decisions? It'll be great if you could shed a little bit of light on that as well.
Robby: Yeah, so every window manufacturer is also going to make doors. A lot of times you want to keep consistency throughout the entire project. So, you'll use the same manufacturer's doors as you do windows. What we see here, on the left side is what we're calling an OXXO glider. That's the door that slides open. Two panels in the center and those panels slide over fixed panels that flank them. That's a pretty popular and economical means to provide a large expanse of glass that opens out to an outdoor space. We do a lot of those. And they are primarily used in situations where like a folding door or a pocketing slider is a little too expensive but we still want to have a great view to the backyard. This is a great substitute for that.
Over on the right we've got an outswing French door pair with sidelights. This is a good example of a door that we would primarily build in our door shop. Well, our vendors do offer something like this. What I'm looking at in this picture looks very much like a [inaudible 00:38:51] plus pro product, which is a manufacturer of a swing wood door. We would build these in our door shop, we can build them in almost any size, we can build them in almost any configuration. We can even make those sidelights operate if you would like. In the bottom, we've got what looks like a garage man door. That's a typical swing door. It swings in. A regular man door, there's going to be in every project. Usually going into the garage, there's always secondary entry that's going to have a door similar to this.
And as far as using different doors from different manufacturers, we do that frequently. And oftentimes, it's because we're using one category of windows. For example, let's say that we were against pricing constraints and there was some value engineering going on, one of the things we'll often do is try and determine what's the most important asset to the customer? Do they want this? Are they willing to spend more money on the door and compromise the window package so we might have a nicer door or a higher-level quality door from the same manufacturer in order to have a really luxurious indoor-outdoor space? Or is the overall window package more important? We might substitute a door of a lower category or even a different manufacturer. There's a lot of flexibility in this and there's a lot of options available that it's always a good conversation to have. Because there are a lot of different ways to attack a project, especially when you're challenged with price. So yeah, to answer your question, we do often substitute different door manufacturers with window package.
Nathan: One thing I want to throw out there really quick is, like the OXXO door that's on the left-hand corner, you're going to use that door again when you don't have room for a bifold. It could not necessarily always be about price but this is where we're going to value engineer if you don't have room for a header to do a bifold or you don't want to throw out the wall to fit in eight or nine-inch jamb for a multi-slide, this is going to be the most economical but yet problem solving option to still gain that access point with a huge opening to your backyard. As far as aesthetic wise, I kind of I mentioned on the previous slide, every door now manufacturer pretty much makes like a... that's a French slider, so it has a taller bottom rail on the door so it's a more traditional look, more glass. Excuse me, more framing less glass. Most manufacturers now everybody is going kind of modern so they now make a patio slider where it is going to be a much smaller bottom rail normally about four. Some manufacturers get down to three and three sixteenths of an inch and you're going to have much more glass. And you could also do the same thing on the swing doors now to keep that whole modern or traditional consistency look going through outdoor.
Rob: That's a great segue. It's probably one of the things that we see, expect and seems like every single project we've looked at these days and also kind of one of the sexier items on any project. So, your multi-slide, your folding door options that are out there. It seems like every single time I go to a showroom, there's more and more brands that are out there that are offering it. But it would be great, first of all, cost is a concern, right? That's always where it started, I guess. But besides that, assuming that they worked early with folks like you early on to understand their budget constraints and everything else, what are some of the other factors that go into maybe deciding between a folding and a multi-slider? Nathan, you mentioned jamb size being one constraint. But what other considerations, I guess, should be made when a consumer's making that decision?
Nathan: Other one really quick. A bifold verses a multi-slide. Huge problem of a bifold is you're going to gain about 97% of your opening depending on how big the opening is or how many panels it is. The one constraint that it has is against the top hung system, so you need to make sure you have an adequate header to hold the weight of the door. So that's where if we don't have that option, then we will recommend... if you still want to have that huge opening, we'll recommend multi-slide where you have it there. Huge proof that is you're still going to gain depending on how many panels, you know, for a three-panel door you're going to gain two thirds of your opening. You are going to have to furrow out your wall a little bit because the three panels are stack up but you're still getting a huge option and you're not having to put an engineered beam in there or possibly a steel beam to hold the weight of those doors.
And then again, as far as manufacturers like you mentioned, pretty much every material makes a door now so that you can match it with the windows. When I do like an aluminum clad window, I'm going to always pitch the ones that... when you meet somebody in sales in the showroom, they're going to recommend to you who they've had success with because a product like this can make or break your budget. If it's not installed correctly, it's not opening correctly. So, we're always going to recommend who we've had success with, whose price point is very good with the product that you're getting, and who does service the product when it does need to get service. So, when I'm doing aluminum clad project, I'm recommending LaCantina or [inaudible 00:44:16] or even AG Millworks all the time to match that aspect of the project. It's just an aluminum product like the Fleetwood. You can literally open a 30-foot system with your pinky. This is where you want to put a little bit more money into your project because you don't want to get a cheap system on these. I've seen people do it and it turns into a major nightmare. This is a big, big aspect of the project. And Robby, this is probably where you would know the best about it.
Robby: Well, I can only piggyback on the great comments that you made. One of the things I would like to absolutely emphasize is the criticalness of that header that you mentioned. These top hung door systems are extremely heavy and they have very limited adjustments. And when you're talking about a span of, like we're looking at this photo on the right that looks to be about a 15-foot span. Well, if the center of that header sags a quarter of an inch, that door is not going to function. So, when you are thinking about doors like this and when the openings get larger and larger, you definitely want to be paying very, very close attention to the engineering of the member that is supporting all of that weight.
We are seeing more and more of these doors, folding doors and sliding doors in almost all levels of construction because we're in the great state of California where the weather is perfect and everybody wants that indoor outdoor space. It's one of the hottest trends in architecture today. The outdoor space is almost as important to us as the indoor space but we want them connected. So, these doors are a big part of the conversation in almost every custom home build. And there are a lot of options out there. And as Nathan had mentioned, some are better than others. A lot of times value engineering comes into play. But this is not one of the places where you should be considering making a compromise. If you want a particular door and you're working with a particular brand, you should probably stay with the brand that you trust because this door is a door that really requires a really good install, the engineering to carry the weight, and a quality of product in order to give you the longevity and the comfort of your living space that you expect.
Rob: Yeah. I can't add enough to that. Certainly, the serviceability down the road. I think when we probably first installed a folding door system, there were very few options out there and we had to make success and certainly more and more brands have come out with really reputable and highly effective and efficient. I can't tell you how much better these stores operate than they did when we first installed them.
Robby: Yeah, 100%. Well, and the installers, the people that are putting them in are also adding a lot of value to the equation because they're sensitive, they take a perfect installation. And the people that are doing installs, the craftsmen in the marketplace are getting more accustomed to them and know the ins and outs of the install because they are sensitive to that.
Rob: Right. Right. One thing as we gear up and to move on to the next slide, which will be a Q&A, I do want to remind everybody. So, you do have the option at the very top of your screen here to type any questions you might have. You can just type it in. You can click the Q&A box up there, type any questions and I'll try to field those. Looks like we have a few already. The alternative to that is you can virtually raise your hand on the top of your screen there and I can actually call on you to speak in live time. There's kind of two different options that are out there.
As we're finishing up here and gearing up towards Q&A, definitely try to remember all those questions you might have had throughout or if you haven't had the opportunity to raise your hand or ask the question this far. With that said, one question I had for both of you before we move on, what about screens? When it comes to these multi-slide and folding doors, is it possible to get screens installed and what are some of the considerations there?
Robby: Wall thickness. The screens are available for just about all units these days but you have to keep in mind that it is going to be on the interior of the structure and it's going to be... generally, if you're ordering it from the manufacturer, they're going to build it in conjunction with their frame and it's always going to add two or three inches to the interior of the frame. So, if you want that to look really built into the window and you want it to be really seamless, you're going to want to pull the wall out in order to accommodate that extra space that's required. There's a couple of different screen systems out there and different manufacturers do things different ways. There are pleated screens, there's roller screens. Some of the larger openings are going to require screens to come from both sides and meet in the middle. Some manufacturers offer a single rolling screen for sliding doors that will cover just one paddle. Again, there's almost unlimited options with this. But there are things to take into consideration when you're considering that.
Rob: Some more good news about being able to live in California I guess is the mosquitoes and insects problem isn't quite as bad as maybe some of the considerations we have to make in other climates. That's always a plus side as well. Before we jump into the Q&A, I'll just remind everybody who's attending this webinar, first of all, thanks for sticking with us for these 50 minutes as we hopefully gave a brief overview of everything there is to know about windows and sliding doors. Next week, we're going to have Precision Cabinets here talking about cabinets. So, another really exciting topic. Another decision you have to make really early and that's expensive to make and it's a huge impact on the project. Still looking forward to that. Make sure to put that down on your calendar for this time next week during lunchtime. With that said, I'm going to jump into some Q&A here. I'm going to open up the folks who have gone through and actually added questions. Just one second while I navigate this. Okay. All right. One question we have is actually specific to a brand. And it's an Anderson question. As you make your way up between like a 100 series and up, what are some of the differences that a client could expect to maybe have to sacrifice on if going with a lower end series?
Robby: Nathan, you want to take that one?
Nathan: Yeah. Andersen is the one company that you are going to mix and match throughout your home because of what they offer for certain series. I've done homes where I've literally put every single series on the home because I had to. With the 100 series is going to be an all-composite window. You have size limitation. When you have a larger opening, then maybe we're going to have to go to the 200 series or swing doors. They don't make a swing door so you will have to go to the 200 series, the 400 series, the A or the E because it's got to have wood on the inside. Sliding doors, if you want an OXXO door, they only offer a two-panel sliding door, so then that's where we would have to go to again to do actually the four, the A or the E.
Rob: It's more a lot work for you to memorize that catalogue it sounds.
Nathan: Yeah. You're going to have to mix and match. Like even with the 200 series if you want, the 200 series, they don't make casements so you got to go to the 400 series or the A series or the E series. Basically, they have size limitations, size constraints on every single series and what I always do is we mix and match and they turn out great. You just have to be prepared to know that you are going to have different windows in possibly the same room or right next to each other.
Rob: Perfect. Yeah, thank you for that. The one other question I think we probably touched on actually as a part of that answer. So, I'm going to skip over that one. Another question. Do sliding doors perform better over time than folding doors?
Robby: I'm going to say yes. I think they do. But that's kind of a hard thing to answer because it kind of is specific to the openings. The larger the openings get, the more connections there are in the doors where the panels come together. The threshold on an outswing folding door is definitely a higher performing unit than the threshold of a sliding door. Now lifting slide door is a different animal, far more expensive top of the line stuff. But that panel actually drops down on the track and creates the seal, whereas the sill on a sliding door a lot of times you're relying... there's a lot to be said about the installation of these products as well because that's going to be a deciding factor. I would say that a folding door is probably going to have a higher DP rating, which is design pressure than what a sliding door is going to have. And there are different levels of sliding doors for use in different applications.
Nathan: So, I'll jump in on that real quick just to kind of back what Robby just said is, on the folding door... Like if you look at these pictures, everybody nowadays wants a seamless transition to where you can pretty much drag your foot in and out. To do that on a sliding door, it's a little bit harder and you need to have a better overhang because you don't have the higher ramp or weather resistance. So, you literally are going to do it flush sill that's going to be three quarters and flush it out with the interior of your floor. With a bifold what I would recommend is in preconstruction stages or an existing stage, cut into the joist and recess the weather resistant sill down so that you still have a weather resistant sill. When the wind hits the door, it actually pushes up against the back of the sill and it actually seals better. So, it is going to maintain, keep the weather out, and do a little bit better as far as energy wise and weather wise than the sliding door. For both doors. The best advice I can say is make sure you keep that track clean all the time. That's going to be an operation in those doors.
Rob: Yep, yep.
Robby: One thing I'd like to add to that as well is, the picture on the left here is showing a multi-panel sliding door that's got basically no sill at all. This is what we're calling a subterranean sill. A door like this, to the exterior it's got no overhang, it's got no protection from the elements there also. There's a drainage system underneath that sill that captures the water and carts away. That's always something that has to be a consideration and a new construction, you can design around that. If you're doing something where you don't have that space under the unit to be able to capture water in a gutter and transport it way, that's going to limit your options. The door that we see here in the center, you can see this is kind of a veranda door where it's got a roof overhang. The only water that we're really defending against in this application is the pressure washer that's cleaning the patio or somebody that's hosing down the glass itself to try and clean it. So, you're going to have lesser requirement for a performance sill there than the door on the left.
Now, the folding doors, they don't offer a subterranean draining sill. They do offer a sill in the floor, which is very sleek and petite and really great for like a pool house indoor outdoor. But those don't really offer too much weatherization that's really for an application where it's okay if water gets on the floor to the interior because of the nature of the structure. Those are things to keep in mind. If you were trying to create vast expanses of space, you always want to think about the water that's going to be hitting that glass because it's very important to be able to get it away from the structure.
Rob: Yeah. One question I'll take on quickly actually, and this is in terms of whether a steel beam is required or wood beam would be required across a LaCantina hang indoor system. Ultimately, it's going to be a function of your header height and how much space you have between your top plate of your framing and your header. More narrow you go, less options you will have for wood, and more likely you'll have to fabricate a steel beam which will be more costly than let's say your [PSLB 00:57:27]. Hopefully that answers that question. Other question, a wood frame and aluminum clad is Marvin or Kolbe similar price point and what about quality for modern design?
Robby: My personal opinion on them is they're pretty much apples for apples for a wood clad, aluminum wood clad product. They're both building a very high-quality product, they're both offering a similar warranty, and from 10 feet away it's pretty hard to tell which one is the other. Each manufacturer does offer different solutions for other categories of windows and that's kind of where their wood clad, their aluminum clad wood window is really pretty similar and pretty similar in price as well. It's when you get into their other lines like for example, Marvin does the elevate and essential series of windows. That's the fiberglass windows that we were talking about. They do a pultruded fiberglass product that is proven to be a really, really high-quality product, whereas Kolbe's entry level window is a composite that's a mixture of both. It's still a quality window but it's a different category of window. But on the other side of that, now there's a product from, you know, when we start talking about their new products for the modern sphere, they've both got different product categories where one is far more expensive than the other. So, as far as the wood clad goes, I'm going to think that they're, pretty close to being equal. Nathan, do you have a different opinion?
Nathan: No. I would recommend both of them equal. The quality, the craftsmanship, and the warranty and after service again, equal. I would never pitch one over the other, I will put both of them in front of the client and yeah, I'll recommend both of them at the equal level.
Rob: Next question is one that comes from someone who probably did some homework on molding windows and the options that are out there from molding windows together to create kind of... I'll expand on this question, to create more kind of a storefront, bigger window opening that maybe you wouldn't be able to get in a single piece. Can you guys talk about where can you do it? Where can't you do it? I guess.
Robby: Nathan, can I help on this one?
Nathan: Yeah, absolutely.
Robby: We were just talking about Kolbe and we were talking about Marvin. Kolbe developed a product that's called Vistaluxe that was specifically designed to answer that question with, yes. They developed this product with a panel of 100 architects to create a wood window interior aluminum clad exterior that simulates the look of wood storefront and its primary objective was to build a window system that was modular, that could be built into different configurations, into large expanses and to incorporate doors and windows into the same wall space that looked very, very similar. That is a great product to meet that need. And all manufacturers are trying to get into that space. Marvin now offers a product called Marvin Modern, which is a 100% fiberglass product with an aluminum interior look. It's got an aluminum interior stop which gives you that modern aesthetic of aluminum but the high performance of a full composite fiberglass frame and exterior. That's a really interesting product that's developing. And that is, again, a very modular system that allows for vast expanses of glass. There are other manufacturers in the marketplace that provide this type of a look as well and there's a lot of options to choose from because that's kind of the look of today.
Rob: Awesome. Since we're running out of time, I'm going to keep this to the last question here. But the question is actually pertaining to multi-slide and folding doors, a popular topic on this Q&A section. But is there a point at which there's a big jump in costs, let's say. Or is it fairly linear in the sense that A; if you had an eight-foot opening versus a 16-foot opening, would you expect that 16-foot opening to be approximately double that of an eight-foot opening or does it not scale literally in that fashion? How should a consumer kind of look at that, and what considerations should be made?
Robby: Nathan, you want to take that one?
Nathan: Yeah. Most manufacturers that I would recommend they're all made to order. Some of them do have standard sizes where you're saving maybe 6% and it really comes down to the glass. It is going to jump up pretty good when you double the openings, specifically because you're now doubling possibly the panels. Like with a bifold, if you're doing aluminum clad, you could only do X amount of width, which I think is about 42 inches wide panels, but if you were doing aluminum, I could go up to 10-foot multi-slide panels. So, I think glass is going to increase a little bit in the cost but the amount of less material due to I could do larger panels is going to bring it down a little bit. Normally, a bifold in the most [inaudible 01:02:48] are going to be equal. Where it's going to get a little bit cheaper to doing multi-slide is when you are looking at a bigger opening specifically because that could do much larger panels to accommodate the space.
Rob: Perfect. I think that we have a couple others that triggered well then but we might have to save those for maybe another day. I know this is a big topic and I'm sure there are probably a number of other questions that are probably still out there that maybe folks haven't had a chance to ask. That's why we're lucky enough to have the contact information right here of Nate for any other questions that you might have. And if you're early enough in the design phase maybe where you're lucky enough to engage with Robby and get him going on speaking with your architect to make sure that the right product and the right application is used, certainly that would make my job a lot easier. That would be great. And yeah, thank you again you both for joining us and providing level of expertise that you both bring to the table and for continuing to help our clients out.
Robby: My pleasure.
Nathan: My pleasure as well. Feel free to reach out with any questions and if I need to, I can get Robby involved as well.
Rob: All right. Thank you, Nate and thank you Robby.
Robby: I'm always available. You bet.
Nathan: Thank you.
Robby: And take care everybody.